Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) - Founders Brewing Company
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Ratings: 3,455 | Reviews: 1,095 | Display Reviews Only:
3.18/5 rDev -20.9%
Pours blurry nut brown in color (a little lighter than I would have expected) with a single finger head that dissipates to a foamy swirl. Nose is deep caramel and vanilla, not much else going on here. Taste is much like the nose with the addition of some hop bitterness and a slightly woody taste. The alcohol is very present, but not overly so for the style. The mouthfeel is a little thin compared to other old ales I have had. Drinkability is only so so on this one, the hops seem oddly placed, perhaps in another six months this will improve.
11-25-2008 04:20:10 | More by FrognutUnl
4.43/5 rDev +10.2%
I picked up a single 12 oz of this guy after really being impressed by the Breakfast Stout. I really dig the artwork of the labels, and always love me a stubby bottle. Poured into an oversize snifter after letting it warm to room temp a bit.
Curmudgeon entered the glass a milk, honey brown. Head is basically nonexistent, which is a cause for concern for this particular bottle. A thin film around the edges, leaving very minimal lacing. Also leaving much to the imagination is a lack of much in the sell department. Though, in its defense, as it warms they come more alive. Gooey caramel, spiced fig, and other sweet candied notes come alive, in what is obviously going to be a nice big malt bomb.
And a big malt bomb it is. My eye lit up instantly. After beginning to be let down by this brew, the taste really came in guns blazing. Curmudgeon begins by coating your tongue with a rye bread, moving to the back of the mouth releasing the sweetest of old ale yeastiness. Tons of sweet sugar, a big carame punch, and dark fruits. The finish is balanced out with a slighty grassy bitterness. Finish also is quite dry, keeping your hand in constant swing for more.
While starting slow, this one finished with a bang. Technically this isn't my favorite, but for sure I'll be loading up my closet with these.
11-25-2008 00:23:51 | More by bigkahunas4
3.83/5 rDev -4.7%
12oz bottle courtesy of hoppymeal poured into a snifter.
Pours a murky reddish orange with a creamy off-white head that lingers as a thin cap for quite a while and leaves good lacing.
The aroma is heavy on sweet caramel malts and dark sweet fruits. There is definitely a wood and bourbon presence but not overpowering. There are some floral hops up front as well.
The taste is boozier than the aroma with lots of bourbon and oak throughout. The flavor has the sweetness of the caramel malts and molasses but it takes a back seat to the barrel character. The flavors meld a bit better as it warms.
The mouthfeel is crazy smooth but with good carbonation. Just coats the mouth wonderfully.
This is an interesting old ale and I think it would have been even better for me without the overpowering barrel presence in the taste. Nonetheless, a good sipper.
11-22-2008 00:10:36 | More by gford217
District of Columbia
4.05/5 rDev +0.7%
Appearance: Bright golden orange-amber. Amazing bubbles.
Smell: Light and dark raisins, toffee, brown sugar
Taste: Sweet bread, honey, caramel, toffee, vanilla, brown sugar. A hint of bourbon. Maybe some marshmallows as well?
Mouthfeel: Near-perfect. A tad sticky from the sugar, like candy almost.
Drinkability: It opens up as it warms. Much more drinkable than a barleywine. It is a very full-bodied beer and makes it known. Very good, I would like to try it again.
11-21-2008 19:23:37 | More by craytonic
4.13/5 rDev +2.7%
Bottle courtesy of afterexile - thanks!! Poured into a 12 oz. brandy snifter.
Appearance: Pours a cloudy yet bright amber, with great orange and reddish hues and a tan but fast-fading one-finger head. The lacing is glittery, fine, but alcohol-retarded like the head. A really nice color on this one, but a little to be desired with the retention and lacing.
Aroma: That's more like it. The malt bill is intensely aromatic, lending a nice amount of buttery toffee, caramel, marshmallow, sweet breadiness. Fruits come through a little more as things warm. Hints of wood and vanilla - was this one barrel aged? Very nice.
Taste: Nice, although a little hot. A really great malt profile is obviously the backbone of any solid old ale, and this one's no different: perhaps more buttery than many, but with a huge dose of roasted, caramel malts, toffee, slight maple syrup. A slight dose of fruits, mostly darker fructose notes, but a few lighter esters sneak through the EtOH shroud.
Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation in a relatively heavy (but not too heavy) body lends a nice, smooth feel to everything. A slight alcohol prickle - perhaps enhanced by the 50 IBUs - hardly distracts from the pillowy evenness.
Drinkability: Founders continues to be one of my favorite breweries, and this one really comes into its own as it warms. Yeah, it's a little hot and could do with being laid down for a year or two (an older ale?), and the abv% is high regardless - approaching double-digits - but there's a ton of great stuff here.
11-21-2008 03:56:14 | More by CrellMoset
4.33/5 rDev +7.7%
Served at between fridge and cellar temperature from a 12oz bottle in a snifter.
A - Translucent and glowing amber color with raspberry-orange highlights. Viscous pour with little bravado and a modest, light tan head that quickly subsides. Lacing is sporadic at best, but the legs are long.
S - Thick, caramel and sugar sweetness with juicy, grilled pineapple and vanilla overtones. Mature, warm floral hoppiness. Like a barleywine's older, wiser cousin.
T - Very round, warm and welcoming sweetness with a glow of oaky vanillin and golden raisin. Turns a bit toasty in the middle, both in taste and alcohol, with a light tartness. And my favorite part -- the finish leaves a taste of old varnished wood and worn book leather along with a dusty coating on the tongue.
M - Thick and slick coming in. Slowly grows to a froth with great fortitude and only a slight tingle on the tongue. Swallow is throat-coating and long.
D - Delicious. This beer covers all the different facets of the Old Ale style -- malt presence, warming alcohol, and the nuances of "old" including leather and wood. At almost 10%, this beer is not to be trifled with, even though it can easily lull you into a sense of pleasant comfortability like a seasoned sailor keeping you rapt with an old tale of the sea.
11-21-2008 03:00:59 | More by EPseja
4.13/5 rDev +2.7%
A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a cloudy consistency. There was a good quarter inch of foamy head and solid lacing.
S: Very potent smell of multiple sugars, malt, and some hops.
T: A nicely complex taste of malt, mild hops, caramel, toffee and some other sugars. The sugars almost overwhelm the taste, but it stays fairly balanced.
M: A pretty good amount of carbonation and a kind of slick finish. Full-bodied.
D: In some ways, this reminded me of a barleywine, probably because of the caramel. Overall, this is a drinkable beer, one good for the winter months.
11-19-2008 16:14:14 | More by avalon07
4.3/5 rDev +7%
On-tap at the South Philly Tap Room
Appears a deep orange with red highlights. A thin, off-white cap was reduced to remnants by the time it reached my table. Little to no lace.
Big caramel backbone with notes of toffee, dark fruit, and oak. A very pleasing, full nose.
Pretty much mimics the nose. Big toffee and caramel up front with dark fruits, oak and a hint of vanilla rounding out the profile. A tad bit of fusel alcohol on the finish.
A bit sticky and chewy in the mouth. Good carbonation, full bodied.
This guy is a sipper on a cold night. Enjoyable.
11-14-2008 20:22:27 | More by ColForbinBC
4.33/5 rDev +7.7%
Got in a trade with csmiley - many thanks! Poured from a 12oz bottle (no dating info) into a pint glass. This is my first Old Ale so excited to try it. It is a cloudy red orange with a ton of sediment floating about. Center carb fountain and no lacing. It barely had a head and that evaporated as quickly as it appeared.
The aroma was really good. Nice and oaky without the overwhelming bourbon smell I've come to associate with oak in beers. Also get dark fruits and wine. Very appetizing. The taste follows the aroma. Nice solid oaky, fruity taste. Goes down way too smooth for something with 9% ABV. You can taste the alcohol but is really well balanced so it doesn't overwhelm.
Overall, there is a really great beer that I highly recommend. Looking forward to trying some more in the style.
11-14-2008 03:43:04 | More by TexIndy
4.35/5 rDev +8.2%
Served from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.
Appearance: Pours a dark copper with hardly any head.
Smell: Great aroma! Caramel, cream, dark fruit, vanilla and slight alcohol. There is also a brandy like aroma that is present.
Taste: Starts with a nice sweet malt flavor that resembles caramel. Goes on to an alcohol flavor and ends with a nice roasted malt flavor. There are some slight flavors of dark fruit and brandy.
Mouthfeel: Good mouthfeel. Somewhat creamy with the right amount of carbonation.
Drinkability: Due to the higher alcohol and complexity of flavor this is definitely a sipper in my book.
Another great beer from Founders. I enjoyed this on a cold November night and it did the trick of warming me up. An great example of the style.
11-11-2008 00:39:08 | More by bahumutx
4.28/5 rDev +6.5%
This beer is murky brown with almost no head (the little foam that did exist was light tan colored). The smell was rich, malt + plums/raisins. The taste was even richer, a little like a really strong version of an English barleywine. Lots of dark fruits (mainly raisins) and malty sweetness, with a little alcohol burn. Thick mouthfeel, substantial beer, easy to see why it's rated highly. Old ales aren't my favorite, they're good once in a while, I pretty much tried this one because it was made by Founders. As usual they did a great job.
11-09-2008 20:50:59 | More by TurdFurgison
3.88/5 rDev -3.5%
Pours ruby color with a creamy off white head. Decent retention with some clingy lacing.
Sweet aroma overall. Dark fruit and molasses are picked up easily up front. Oak aged also has left its mark on the smell.
Big malt up front. Sweet thick maltiness you can expect from an old ale. Warming alcohol is noticeable but not overly done. There is an earthiness imparted from the oak. Dark fruit flavors are there but not as dominate as the smell would suggest.
Medium bodied and low carbonation. Does drink smooth but is definitely a sipper.
Very enjoyable to brew to enjoy over time. Not one to go back to after finishing the first.
11-07-2008 23:41:37 | More by kzoobrew
3.9/5 rDev -3%
Pours a quite foggy rubyhued amber with a thick creme head. Nose is minimal with caramel and dark fruits and a malty overall tone. Slight bit of booze. Flavor carries a kick of liquid aspects (boozy burn) with an earthy tone. Dark fruits. Sweet tone. Feel is thicker on liquid and low on carbonation. For an old ale, this seems a bit...young. It's nice, but I think 2-3 more yearsmight do it justice.
Thanks to spointon for this one!
11-06-2008 07:01:48 | More by RblWthACoz
4.18/5 rDev +4%
A big thanks to fogdog for this bottle.
Appearance: Pours a murky, dark reddish-amber, with a slowly-coagulating, creamy, khaki-colored head. Lots of suspended yeast sediment floating around. Head doesn't last long; becomes a wispy ring of bubbles. Leaves decent lace.
Smell: Dark berries, molasses, oak, fruity esters, bready yeast, raisins and spices. As I sit here sniffing it, the dark fruits and bread aromas really start coming forth. Maybe a little bourbon as well. Great balance and mixing, though I wish it were a tad stronger.
Taste: Lots of warm bread, caramel, and spice. Dark fruit flavors are there but a bit subdued, especially when compared to the smell. Sweet molasses and bourbon flavors fill in very nicely. Flavors meld very well, just like in smell.
Mouthfeel: Slick and somewhat syrupy, yet watery. Medium-bodied with low carbonation. Feels a bit gritty with all of the yeast sediment. Great mouth-numbing and good warming as well.
Drinkability: A milder flavor and smell than I'm used to, thus making it more than just a sipper. Not the best old ale I've had, but one that's worth a try. Wish there was a little more umph to it.
11-05-2008 04:57:24 | More by ThreeWiseMen
3.7/5 rDev -8%
For my first official BA review, I'm choosing the Founders Curmudgeon. Why? I have no idea. Ever since my middle school hay days I have loved the word, Curmudgeon - although at the time I was rather oblivious to its meaning, and merely fond of the similarly titled Nirvana B-side.
For quite some time in my beer loving days I had searched high and low for this beer. I worked to set up a number of trades to pick just one up to try, each inevitably falling dead in their own tracks. Then one day, as if the gods themselves had been watching my search, it just showed up. And I'm not talking about a trip to Grand Rapids I took in search of the beer (to no avail), nor stops on the same trip to handfuls of local Michigan beer stores (again to no avail), and I'm not even talking about a happen-chance finding of a single bottle in the back room of a store no one would have ever thought to find the brew. No. I mean it just showed up. Seriously - right now, it's all over Cincinnati. I mean everywhere. How about that for serendipitous notion? But hey, I'm not complaining! And either way, it showed up, and then it found its way into my cellar - from the looks of it by the truckload at that.
But I digress. I poured this beer before even navigating to the review page here on BA and my taste buds are getting impatient. It is worthy to note that I have poured my Curmudgeon at cellar temperature into a deep stemless white wine glass - my glass of choice of lately for enjoying anything as particularly malty as this.
This beer pours a beautiful, deep red mahogany, and quickly gathers a finger and a half of light brown head. The head dissipates a little too quickly, but leaves an amoeba of lacing griping tight to the glass. There is a touch of standing sediment hanging out in the beer, but nothing to frown upon for this style.
The smell! This one knocks in with some thick, boozy notes that are backed up by caramel, molasses, deep grape, and, although I can't touch what this particular flavor is, I will describe the overall smell as "burnt sticky caramel corn." I am fighting the urge to find the correct words to describe this beer with my desire to toss this one down the hatch. And in that case... bottoms up!
Burnt Sticky Caramel Corn is pretty accurate if you ask me! The Old Curmudgeon hits the tongue with a quickly waning hit of fresh hops, grazes the tongue gracefully through its candy-like mid-body and rushes down the back of the throat almost like it wasn't even there. This one sits on the tongue after finish and simply bubbles for a while, asking for another sip. The sweetness sits with a light glaze through the mouth and reaffirms my newly coined burnt sticky caramel corn flavor profile. Plus some plum... yeah, a little bit of plum. Once it goes down, though, it's like I'm breathing fire here. Not like some crazy burn-down-the-house fire; more like a sitting by the campfire making s'mores (s'more what?) fire. The booze sits nicely and keeps the warming coming quite nicely. I could take this one out in 40 degree weather in shorts and a t-shirt and keep warm. I like that.
As much as I really like this beer, I'd love to have a little more variety in flavor aside from the aforementioned notes. For what is there, however, I can certainly appreciate the flavors, and there is nothing about this one that says, you can't have just one. On a good night with some good company, I could sip on these for quite some time. Well worth the wait to finally try these, and I am more than appreciative that I had quite a few more of these in my cellar.
11-04-2008 02:21:09 | More by dschuster03
3.58/5 rDev -10.9%
Autumn colored ale with a full white head. Very nice complex aroma has complexity from the malt as well as the barrel. Notes of vanilla, creme brulee, cookie, coconut as well as some spice nuances and barrel character. Flavor has some complexity from the original beer (caramel., toffee), as well as some light notes of whiskey, peat, toasted wood and vanilla. A fairly nice ale.
11-04-2008 02:14:11 | More by Crosling
3.9/5 rDev -3%
Original rating 11/3/2008 - 4.0/3.5/3.5/3.0/3.0 Overall - 3.35
Props to SirSketch for this LIF brew; 12 oz. bottle into a Delirium tulip.
Out of the light, Curmudgeon appears listless, brick red in color, and hazy. In the light, however, it takes on a vibrant, bloody-copper glow, and a trail of small bubbles can be seen rising up from the etched glass bottom. The faint custard head retreats almost as quickly as it forms, and leaves behind only a thin ring of foam around the top. The aroma smells great, I just wish there were more of it: crystallized sugar and cotton candy give way to a nutty, spicy yeast presence, while the hops add a kiss of floral grassiness to the mix.
The flavor starts off with hot alcohol and spices, a bit medicinal at times, but pulls back just before things get too overbearing. Alcohol warmth continues into the finish, delivering a sweet and bitter mix of brandy and cough syrup. Caramel malts and a slight hop edge are somewhere in the middle, but ultimately get overshadowed. Mouthfeel is sticky, syrupy, and hot with booze, while carbonation is almost non-existant. If I were to come across this again, I'd absolutely give it a few years in the cellar before unleashing it on unsuspecting palates. Too much alcohol, not enough restraint.
[EDIT: Tried a bottle on 12/28/2011 that was almost 2 years old. Very tasty, with subdued alcohol and a smooth, caramel maltiness. Dried fruits and a tinge of hops made for a well-rounded old ale. Leagues better than when this beer was fresh.]
11-03-2008 23:33:54 | More by wagenvolks
4/5 rDev -0.5%
A very fine barley-wine. Body was hazy and opaque and straw colored. Aroma was very malty with some fruitiness. Flavor was warming and mellow with some mild cereal-ness I didn't care for, and a lot of body I did like. Mouthfeel was clean and dry.
Had this on tap at Mike Roman's pub in Bay View, WI.
11-01-2008 20:00:53 | More by BeerBelcher
3.88/5 rDev -3.5%
Bottle poured into a tulip glass. The liquid appears hazy, brown with an orange/maroon hue. Thin, biege head that breaks down quickly accompanied with an oily, polka dot lacing.
The aroma produces a boozy, raisin introduction accented with dark fruits, wood, vanilla, and a port meets some cooking sherry. The molasses malt is pungent along with whiffs of caramel and cream.
While drinking this acidic and bold ale, I could swear I felt some extra hair growing on my chest. My mouth welcomed a smooth, filmy liquid that produced flavors such as oak, prunes, raisins, syrupy malt, and a heaping dose of bitterness only see in sherries and wines. My inside was left very dry and puckery, the acidic levels blast and the alcohol is nowhere near hidden.
This thing is a sipper and I think it's screaming to be aged. I will save one for some cold winter night ad stash some down in the cellar...Ok...it's ust a basement. A very unique style and one that I will have to play around with...
11-01-2008 01:41:30 | More by jdoncbus
3.93/5 rDev -2.2%
I poured this one from a 12oz stubby brown bottle into a tulip pint glass.
A= This ale poured a very slightly cloudy light brown color shot through with orange highlights. The head started at 1/4" and quickly dropped to zero.
S= Definite oak-ish and vanilla aromas dancing around a not-too-overpowering bourbon note and some sweet caramel malts. Faint hop spice entered and receded in a flash followed by big alcohol.
T= Much like the smell, I found sweet caramel maltiness, vanilla beans, oakiness, and maybe a spot of dry leaves and tobacco. That was all followed by bourbon and more dry oak like tannins which contributed bitterness and dryness in the finish.
MF= Medium bodied with a soft, low carbonation mouthfeel. Slightly thin in the finish.
D= Certainly an easy drinking whiskey barrel inspired beer. I appreciate that neither the wood nor the bourbon flavors overpower the rest of it. Just a bit thin for my palate, but still damn drinkable.
10-31-2008 04:50:54 | More by spointon
4.35/5 rDev +8.2%
A - Cloudy dark amber. Good head of light brown foam. Creamy and sticky.
S - Very floral. lots of oranges, apples and alcohol with some toffee. Very pungent.
T - Tons of flavor. Big alcohol complexity, sweet apple cider and bracing finishing bitterness. Creamy orange taffy.
M - Heavy thick feel.
D - Reminds me of candy but with a bit bitter finish. Tasty but really heavy and sweet, almost cloyingly so.
10-30-2008 17:21:05 | More by allergictomacros
4.43/5 rDev +10.2%
12 oz bottle
A: Deep amber under a small tan head. No lace, no retention.
S: Nice fruity aroma mixed with some wood, vanilla, citrus and piney hop. Incredibly nice aroma.
T: Nice taste, fruit is a little less, wood and vanilla character much more apparent. Very balanced, decent hit of bitterness in the finish with a splash of alcohol.
M/D: Surprisingly not so heavy, full bodied, but carbonation is low, and it feels light (but still on the heavy end of the spectrum). Good drinkability. Delicious beer. Superb.
10-29-2008 22:43:32 | More by NCSUdo
3.7/5 rDev -8%
Pours a brownish red with a caramel colored head. Decent finger of foam doesn't leave a ton of lacing behind.
Smells roasty with a whiff off autumn.
Taste, a bigger beer, with a bit of an alcohol taste and roasted flavors.
Mouthfeel is smooth, after the first sip, finishes with a caramel taste.
Drinkability is high on this one my friends, although it is a heavy beer it is excellent for sipping on cool autumn nights when the bats are flying overhead.
10-29-2008 06:38:18 | More by midnite2sixman
3.78/5 rDev -6%
time for a new review, new review with a bottle from Grapes & Hops in Fayetteville, NC, old one performed mid-2006 with a bottle from dirtylou follows
a: head is very light but that's expected here, the beer is a darker orange-brown in color
s: boozy and bourbon-esque caramel malts make up the grain body here, sweet dried dates soaked in booze, oak vanilla despite no barrel aging, vanilla confections, concentrated white fig juice, a touch spicy, hops low, quite nice, huge alcohol presence the only issue
m: low carbonation and full body, has the makings of a good mouthfeel but is a little dull and unimpressive
t: caramel malts with a gentle nutty toffee note towards the finish, boozy with a touch of bourbony oak at the end as a medium bitterness creeps in, moderately sweet, a little restrained for my tastes (put plainly, on the bland side) but well-rounded
d: a little hot but that's not really much of a detractor given the style, pretty easy
appearance: The pour into my snifter gives a low tan head that soon becomes nothing but a very thin ring around the glass. The beer is a deep, reddish brown in color.
smell: grainy caramel malt sweetness at the head...a little woody. A touch of cola and milk chocolate. Dried figs and dates. Light hop aroma.
mouthfeel: The carbonation is low and gentle, and the body full
taste: moderate sweetness, lightly nutty malt character upfront...clean and without a ton of complexity but still tasty. Some milk chocolate after the swallow. Dark fruits, maybe some dates. Not as rich in flavor as I had hoped, but pretty good nonetheless. Light to moderate hop flavor with a medium bitterness and a touch of ethanol.
drinkability: Alcohol light, and a good beer that could use some character
Shipped from dirtylou sometime last spring and cellared since.
10-29-2008 02:52:44 | More by blackie
3.53/5 rDev -12.2%
This beer was poured into a snifter from the twelve ounce bottle.
This beer pours a muddy amber-brown with a small off white head that does not hold or lace. The aroma is of caramel, dark fruits and emerging vanilla and coconut of bourbon as the beer warms. The flavor also smells of caramel up front as the beer warms some fruitiness comes out as well. Finally the bourbon makes its presence known. At first the bourbon was a bit astringent but as the beer warms it becomes more pleasant. However, the besides the bourbon, I do not get a whole lot else. The body is medium-full and low on carbonation. Overall, it is an ok beer. I would like to see a bit more beyond the bourbon.
10-29-2008 02:29:38 | More by MSchae1017
Founders Curmudgeon (Old Ale) from Founders Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 3,455 ratings.